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Sheila Bridges, the host of “Sheila Bridges Designer Living,” on the Fine Living network, is one of the nation’s foremost interior designers. She’s appeared on The Today Show and Oprah; has been profiled in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Country Living; and was named America’s best interior designer by CNN and Time. Though she works in Harlem, Bridges spends her weekends at her home in Columbia County. She recently launched The Nestmaker, a free online newsletter that highlights trends, products, and resources for design consumers. This fall, her first outdoor furniture collection will be coming out via Wood Classics, a company based in Gardiner. www.sheilabridges.com.
—Peter M. Laffin

Why do you choose to live in the Hudson Valley?

I’ve always loved the Hudson Valley for its sense of architectural and artistic history and its natural beauty and charm…and, of course, its convenience to New York via train or car. While I love certain aspects of my life in New York, I think I’m really more of a country girl at heart.

What are some things you would like to see change about this area? What are some things you would like to see stay the same?

I am disturbed by all of the new, uninspired, prefab houses and businesses that are popping up virtually everywhere. Part of what attracted me to the Hudson Valley was its rural beauty and charming old homes. I would hate to see all of the farmland and wide-open spaces become shopping malls.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

The worst job I ever had was my first job, which I got when I graduated from Brown University and moved to New York. I worked at Bloomingdale’s and hated it. I worked long hours and had to stand on my feet all day and deal with rude, obnoxious shoppers.

What’s your most pleasurable habit, and where do you indulge it?
I love to do anything outdoors when I can. That includes riding my quarter horse, Red, on trails in the woods of the Hudson Valley, snowboarding at Windham, and playing tennis at Total Tennis in Saugerties.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a day off?
To sit on my front porch with a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the Catskills!

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